Valparaiso University Provost Retiring after 30 Years of Service

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August 29, 2013 — Valparaiso University says today that Provost Mark R. Schwehn will retire from his position, effective June 30, 2014.

It says the resignation includes his position as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Schwehn became provost in 2009 after serving the University since 1983.

Valparaiso University President Mark A. Heckler said, “Provost Schwehn has been a transformative, thoughtful leader at Valpo for three decades.  He has been a faithful steward to the mission and vision of Valparaiso University, and his guidance has been invaluable during a time of significant growth and expansion for our University.”

The University’s announcement today says that as provost, Schwehn counts the development of Valparaiso University’s academic plan, part of the University’s campus-wide strategic plan, as one of his high points.  It says he also added the position of Executive Director of Campus Ministries and expanded ministry programming on campus, and the University launched the Institute for Leadership and Service under Schwehn’s guidance last year.

Schwehn said, “Teaching has always been my first love, though I have learned being an educator can take many forms.  I have enjoyed my time as provost enormously. I have learned a great deal, and I have been blessed to work with an inspiring group of people, especially with President Heckler.”

Schwehn had served as dean of Christ College – The Honors College from 1990 to 2003, when it raised more than $7,000,000 in gifts and grants, increased enrollment in the College by 33 percent, and advanced both the academic profile and the diversity of the Christ College student body.

During his tenure as dean, he also created and established the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, a national network of 90 colleges and universities with a postdoctoral fellow program that prepares new teachers for faith-based institutions of higher education.  Schwehn has served as Lilly Fellows Program Project Director since 1990, recruiting 42 postdoctoral fellows.

Schwehn holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy from Valparaiso University and a Doctor of Philosophy in History and Humanities from Stanford University, where his doctoral dissertation won the 1978 Allan Nevins Prize, awarded annually by the Society of American Historians to the most distinguished Ph.D. thesis in the field of American History.

He is author of “Exiles from Eden: Religion and the Academic Vocation in America” and editor of three additional books. His articles on faith-based education have been published in numerous publications, and he is invited to speak at institutions and associations throughout the United States.

He intends to take a year sabbatical to complete a book project while in residence at the Collegeville Institute at St. John’s College in Minnesota. After his leave, Schwehn will resume teaching in Christ College.

The University will conduct a nationwide search for a new provost to be filled by July 1, 2014.

Valparaiso University describes itself as, “a comprehensive independent Lutheran university with more than 4,000 students on its campus located in Northwest Indiana, an hour from Chicago. Valpo is a community of purpose-driven, service-minded and ethical individuals who embrace the pursuit of truth with freedom, humility and compassion. Valpo has been identified as one of the top master’s-level institutions in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report magazine for the past 22 years. Valparaiso University offers more than 110 undergraduate academic programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering and Nursing. Valpo also has a distinguished honors college, a Law School, and more than 40 degree and certificate programs in its Graduate School and Continuing Studies. Valpo has been recognized for its commitment to outstanding teaching, preparing thoughtful leaders with strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness and dedication to serving others.”

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